Category Archives: Biomass

How burning biomass made us human

[ This is a book review of Wrangham’s “Catching Fire: How cooking made us human”. Fire enabled us to have larger brains from the increased calories in cooked food, held carnivores at bay, killed bacteria, and gave us many other … Continue reading

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Are biofuels a sustainable and viable energy strategy?

[In 2000, Melanie Kenderine at the U.S. Department of energy stated that: “This nation has abundant biomass resources (grasses, trees, agricultural wastes) that have the potential to provide power, fuels, chemicals and other bio-based products” (136). That’s a good point … Continue reading

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National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap, Department of Energy

[ This is the best document of the many I’ve read. If my post Dozens of reasons why the world doesn’t run on algal biofuels didn’t convince you that the scientists are NOT likely to come up with something, get … Continue reading

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Effects of biodiesel on diesel engines: John Deere

[ Since petroleum is finite, the most important focus of U.S. energy research ought to be keeping trucks operating, since civilization ends when trucks stop running.  Ideally this would be done with a “drop-in” fuel that can be burned in … Continue reading

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Benefits of promoting soil health in agriculture U.S. House hearing 2014

                    [ At last, 10 years after I first published “Peak soil: Why biofuels destroy ecosystems and civilizations“, Congress had a hearing that educated house members on why preserving topsoil is … Continue reading

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Why methanol is not an option to replace gasoline or diesel

[ Below is a U.S. House hearing on alternative fuels from which I’ve extracted the methanol portions.  Just a few of the reasons why this is not an option are: The California methanol effort was abandoned for many reasons, but … Continue reading

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Distribution – why it is so hard to add E15 or E85 at a gas station

[One of the huge hurdles to shifting from oil to “something else” is the chicken-or-egg problem of no one buying a new-fuel vehicle with few places to get it, so few vehicles are made, and service stations don’t add the … Continue reading

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Wood, the fuel of preindustrial societies, is half of EU renewable energy

There are 3 articles below: The Economist. April 6, 2013. Wood: the fuel of the future. Environmental lunacy in Europe. ZME Science. August 2015. The UK plans to build the world’s largest wood-burning power plant Pearce, F. August 18, 2015. … Continue reading

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Biofuel distribution wastes valuable diesel fuel

Biofuels can’t use the existing refined petroleum distribution pipeline system, by far the cheapest way to move fuel — 17.5 times cheaper than truck, 5 times less than rail, 2.25 times less than barge, on average (Curley), so delivery of … Continue reading

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Peak soil: Why biofuels destroy ecosystems and civilizations

Alice Friedemann. 2007. Peak Soil.   Last updated: July 5, 2016 [ Formerly titled: Why Biofuels are Not Sustainable and a Threat to America’s National Security.  Shorter versions: Jacqueline Langwith, ed. 2008.  “Opposing Viewpoints: Renewable Energy, vol. 2.” Greenhaven Press; Sheila … Continue reading

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